Pittsburgh Police Officer Janine Triolo was one of five officers honored by Safariland at SHOT Show. Photo: Mark W. Clark.
Safariland honored five officers at SHOT Show today and inducted them into their Saves Club for surviving harrowing encounters with the help of gear from the body armor and police products maker.
"The officers are honored for their courage as they put their lives on the line to protect our communities," according to a Safariland statement.
During a presentation ceremony today at the Safariland booth, the officers told the stories of their encounters and received a commemorative coin, plaque, polo shirt, and range bag.
The first presentation came from Orem (Utah) Police Sgt. Randy Crowther who responded to a disturbance call with a partner to detain a nearly naked man at an apartment complex. During a scuffle to detain the man, the suspect grabbed the grip of Sgt. Crowther's service pistol, which was secured in a Safariland Raptor 6270 holster. Sgt. Crowther eventually drew his weapon and gained compliance.
Officer Janine Triolo of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police spoke next. Officer Triolo was patting down an 18-year-old male suspect when the suspect turned and pulled a handgun from his waistband. During a struggle on the ground, the suspect's handgun malfunctioned. The suspect attempted to grab Officer Triolo's weapon from her Safariland Model 6280 SLS Duty Holster, which lifted her off the ground. The suspect, who was unable to gain control of her weapon, continued to beat her. He crawled on top of her and again reached for his handgun. Officer Triolo was able to reach down, draw her weapon, and fatally shoot the suspect.
Next was Officer Malin Reynolds of the Idaho Falls (Idaho) Police Department. In June, Officer Reynolds joined a search for a wanted suspect who had fled from the state police. When they encountered the suspect's vehicle, the suspect fled to his residence. While being pursued, the assailant shot Officer Reynolds on his Second Chance Summit SM01 Level II vest one inch from the edge. Officer Reynolds was still able to tackle the assailant to the floor where he and other officers returned fire, killing the assailant.
Sgt. Bob Mefford of the West Virginia State Police was next. On March 19, Sgt. Mefford was working with the state police's Special Response Team, responding to a call of a barricaded suspect who was firing toward the officers. After entering the residence, the assailant fired on the team with a .357 Magnum round, fatally wounding a K-9 dog and striking Sgt. Mefford on the bottom edge of his Protech Rapid Response armor. Other officers eventually shot the suspect.
Officer Katie Lawson of the Oklahoma City (Okla.) Police Department finished the presentations. On Aug. 29, 2010, Officer Lawson was leaving the scene of a traffic stop when she observed a suspicious person. The suspect immediately opened fire with an AR-15, sending 26 rounds through the door and windows of Officer Lawson's patrol car. After she was hit six times—two rounds struck her ABA armor—Officer Lawson exited her car and returned fire, giving chase to her now fleeing attacker. She radioed the location of the attackers and all three were eventually taken into custody.